Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Jesse Jackson Jr.: 'Today I Manned Up'

Former congressman sentenced to 30 months in prison for misusing campaign funds

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Former Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., speaks briefly to reporters outside the courtroom after he was sentence to 30 months in prison.

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Jesse Jackson Jr. said he manned up Wednesday in court.

After a judge sentenced him to 30 months in prison for misusing $750,000 of campaign money, Jackson gave a brief statement to a crush of reporters and cameras that surrounded him outside the courthouse.

"I still believe in the power of forgiveness, I believe in the power of redemption," he said. "Today I manned up and tried to take responsibility for the errors of my ways, and I still believe in the resurrection."

The statement follows a tearful plea to the judge to allow his wife, former Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson, to get probation and spare his two kids from the consequences of his actions.

"I misled the American people. I misled the House of Representatives," he said. "I misled the media by filing my reports. I was wrong. And I don't fault anyone."

Jackson choked up as he publicly apologized to his family, friends and former constituents.

"I also want to apologize to my dad and my mother," he said, accepting a tissue from a court officer. "I agree this isn't just about me. I am the example for the whole Congress and I understand that. I didn't separate my personal life from my political life. That couldn't have been more wrong. I take responsibility for my actions."

The former congressman in February pleaded guilty to charges he spent the money, as well to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and false statements. Sandi Jackson pleaded guilty to tax fraud on the same day.

In the end, Sandi Jackson was sentenced to 12 months in prison. She will serve her sentence after her husband.

 

 

 

 

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